British House of Lords, greed and crime

This 18 August 2015 video from Britain is called Silent peers claim thousands in expenses in UK Lords.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Lords pocket 360,000 despite not voting once

Monday 17th August 2015

Electoral Reform Society exposes growing corruption of unelected chamber

SIXTY-TWO unelected peers claimed £360,000 in pay and expenses just for attending but not voting in Parliament over the last five years, according to research published yesterday.

Just 10 of those members were responsible for claiming £236,000 between them, according to a report by the Electoral Reform Society (ERS), which campaigns for reform of the Lords.

Peers who did not vote in the last parliamentary session claimed a total of more than £100,000, said the report, entitled House of Lords: Fact vs Fiction.

Each of the current 781 peers is able to claim £300 tax free for each sitting day in Westminster as well as limited travel expenses. The Tories dominate the upper house of Parliament, with 226 members, while Labour has 212 and the Lib Dems 101.

Four peers have been convicted of criminal offences — perjurer Jeffrey Archer, expense cheats Paul White and John Taylor, and arsonist Mike Watson — but they are allowed to retain their life peerages and continue scrutinising and shaping laws.

More than a third of peers previously worked in politics, compared to less than 1 per cent of the public, prompting ERS deputy chief executive Darren Hughes to remark that the so-called “chamber of experts” is more a “chamber of professional politicians.”

Only two peers are under the age of 40, women make up just 24 per cent of the Lords and almost half of the total membership live in London or the south-east, he continued.

Just 1 per cent came from a manual or skilled labour background.

The Lords is “shockingly out of date and unrepresentative” and “growing out of control,” ERS warned amid reports that Prime Minister David Cameron is to appoint 50 more peers to “rebalance” numbers.

His plans could cost the taxpayer at least £1.3million a year in fees and perks, it has been estimated.

The attendance rate of the 179 non-party crossbenchers was lower than that of those linked to parties, said ERS.

Mr Hughes continued: “We have shown that, far from being a bastion of independence, non-partisan crossbench peers turn up far less frequently than party-political peers.

“And it’s those peers who vote as a bloc, with Labour voting against the last coalition government, Conservative peers voting against the last Labour government nearly 100 per cent of the time.”

Three of the offenders


Despite being the third-highest bishop in the Church of England, the Right Reverend Richard failed to poll even once in a total of 60 possible votes.

ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER Baron Lloyd-Webber (Tory)

The musical theatre maestro was knighted in 1992 and made a peer in 1997, but 18 years later the high life doesn’t seem to appeal as much as it used to. Zero votes out of 60.

RABBI Jonathan Sacks Baron Sacks (Crossbench)

A bit of a mixed bag, the former head of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth opposed same-sex marriage, but is also known for inter-faith dialogue. Pity he turned out to not one of 60 votes.

PEERS who have not spoken in the House of Lords this year have claimed more than a million pounds in expenses, the Electoral Reform Society revealed yesterday. The 64 lords and ladies pocketed £1,262,670 in public money for turning up to Parliament, but failed to take part in any debates: here.

Lord Janner dead: Former Labour peer found unfit to stand trial for alleged child sex abuse dies aged 87: here.

6 thoughts on “British House of Lords, greed and crime

  1. Pingback: Poem on British Blairite warmonger Hilary Benn | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Monday 21st December 2015

    posted by Conrad Landin in Britain

    VICTIMS of alleged paedophile Lord Greville Janner have been “denied justice at the final hurdle” by his death, their lawyer said yesterday.

    A “trial of the facts” on the ex-Labour politician’s alleged abuse of nine boys and men was set for April due to him being deemed unfit to defend himself in a normal fashion.

    But Janner’s death on Saturday means it is “highly unlikely” that it will go ahead, in spite of speculation that testimonies could continue to be heard in court, according to a legal expert.

    “Always when the unfit defendant has died after a finding of unfitness to plead but before the trial of the facts, the proceedings seem to terminate,” criminal policy professor Ronnie Mackay told the Guardian.

    “I can’t think of any way in which the Crown Prosecution Service could even reinstate the case. It dies with the unfit defendant.”

    Former Leicester MP Janner was charged with 22 sexual offences dating back to the 1960s against nine victims, the majority of whom were 16 or under at the time.

    Abuse lawyer Liz Dux, who represents six of the men, said the death was “devastating news” for her clients.

    “They have waited so long to see this case come before the courts, to be denied justice at the final hurdle is deeply frustrating,” she said.

    “Worse still is that so many opportunities to bring this matter to justice while he was well were missed.”

    Fifteen of the charges were for indecent assault, while 21 charges related to children who were aged 16 or under at the time. The alleged offences took place between the 1960s and the 1980s.

    Ms Dux said that claims would be made against Janner’s estate in the civil courts.


  3. Saturday 16th January 2016

    posted by Paddy McGuffin in Britain

    Peer’s death puts an end to child abuse case

    VICTIMS of alleged abuse at the hands of the late Lord Janner were left “devastated” yesterday after his criminal case was dropped decades after they first accused him of child sex abuse.

    Greville Janner had been charged with 22 sexual offences dating back to the 1960s against nine alleged victims, most of whom were under 16 at the time.

    Yet despite what police described as significant amounts of evidence, prosecutors declined to bring charges against Janner on two occasions, before finally being forced into an embarrassing U-turn last year.

    But legal proceedings were left in limbo following Janner’s death last month, just days after he was found unfit to stand trial at the Old Bailey.

    Announcing the decision not to press ahead with the planned trial of facts, prosecutor Richard Whittam QC revealed in court that more charges were scheduled to be brought against the peer.

    Mr Whittam said that a copy of the peer’s death certificate had been produced for the court file, bringing an end to the matter.

    Trial judge Mr Justice Openshaw agreed: “There is nothing more to be said. That’s the end of the proceedings.”

    Specialist abuse lawyer at Slater and Gordon Liz Dux, who represents eight alleged victims, said: “My clients are obviously devastated that they are no longer able to give their evidence in a criminal court.

    “They understand the reasons why but that doesn’t make up for the real travesty — that many gave their statements decades ago and have been denied justice through a failure to prosecute earlier when Janner was alive and well.”

    Following the announcement, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse chaired by Justice Goddard confirmed that it would resume its own investigation into the allegations against former Leicester MP Janner.

    As part of its inquiry it announced that Leicestershire County Council, a number of care homes, the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Labour Party will all be looked into, it said.

    An inquiry spokeswoman said it would focus on “different issues” from a criminal trial, with the first step to examine the facts surrounding the allegations against Janner.

    The first preliminary hearing will take place on March 9, with “core participants” invited to apply later this month, she said.


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  5. Pingback: Child abuse in the Church of England, update | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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